français | español | english
Online Knowledge Base
Natural Resource Governance around the World

Access to Land and Recognition of Land Rights in GUATEMALA

Written by: Michel Merlet, Annalisa Mauro

Writing date:

Organizations: Institut de Recherche et d’Applications des Méthodes de Développement (IRAM), International Land Coalition (ILC)

Type of document: Research Paper

Documents of reference

Mauro, Annalisa; Merlet, Michel. Access to Land and Recognition of Land Rights in GUATEMALA. ILC, IRAM. June 2003. (available on this page)


This document has been prepared after the International Land Coalition mission conducted by Annalisa Mauro (Coalition) and Michel Merlet (IRAM) in Guatemala from March 3rd to March 11th, 2003. Its objectives are to share the thoughts of the mission regarding some central aspects of the land issue in this country, and to start formulating some recommendations for the Coalition and the Organizations making it up and working in Guatemala.

Table of Contents of the Report

Part 1. Original Features of the Guatemalan Agricultural History

  • A Very High Concentration of Land (The Weight of Colonial Heritage; A System of Land Rights Built from the King’s Power;

  • Rights over Land, Rights over the People

  • Independence and Absolutism of the So-Called Liberal Reforms

  • The Failed Attempt at Promoting Modern Capitalism with Moderate Agrarian Reform

  • Improbable Land Markets

Part 2. Toward Rural Development for All

  • Peace Agreement and Land Issues

  • Current Dynamics (Emergence of Dynamic Sectors of Small Mercantile Producers; Difficulties in Some Large Production Sectors)

  • Different Visions

Part 3. Contributions to the Debate and Some Elements to Progress

  • Deepening Reflection on Some Conceptual Aspects (Where does Legitimacy Concerning Rights over Land Come from?; Land Property. What are we talking about?)

  • Some Central Points Requiring Support (Helping to Document the Advantages of Family Production and Training the Professionals the Country Needs; Making Progress in the Local Management of Land; Finding the Ways to Walk Ahead and Not Stumble)

Part 4. The Role and Actions of the International Land Coalition

  • The International Land Coalition

  • Background, Actions Underway in Guatemala, and Perspectives

  • Land and Development in Guatemala. Dynamic Plan of the International Coalition Activities in Guatemala 2003-2005

  • LAND Alliance for National Development

5. Annexes

Download the document